VW Up! Reviewed by Evo

When the VW Beetle debuted, it was meant as a cheap car for mass consumption. Now, it is merely a large, retro, fashion accessory that makes some murky link to its origins. However, a true Beetle successor does exist, but it is only available in Europe.

It is called the Up!, and it is meant to offer cheap, stylish, dependable transportation for lots of people. Sound familar? It may not have an air-cooled engine in the back, but it does have many cool engineering tricks to keep size and price small. European car amgazine Evo points out a few of them:

So the production Up has the usual front engine, front-wheel drive and torsion beam rear axle, but the engine is a new, all-aluminium, three-cylinder unit of 1.0 litre and either 60 or 95bhp. There will also be a 68bhp CNG version with just 79g/km CO2 when mated to the robotised manual transmission option. The Up is just over 3.5m long, weighs under a tonne (as you would hope) and has very short overhangs. At the front this is achived by mounting the radiator to the left side of the engine instead of in front of it.

As for how it drives:

Not remotely rapid. The 1.0-litre, 75bhp, 108g/km, five-speed manual takes 13.2sec to hit 62mph and runs out of steam at 106mph, and you need to stoke the engine mercilessly to stay with torquey, turbodiesel-powered traffic. But, as with many three-pots, it’s a very likeable engine with a deep, smooth note and a response keener than than the figurtes suggest. Unusually for a triple, it has no balancer shaft. This small engine’s reciprocating masses are too low to need balancing.

This is a light, airy car, beautifully made and detailed, and designed in the kind of industrial way that suits the painted-metal door edges and the lack of any padding. The dashboard is glossy, and body-coloured in most versions, and on it sits, optionally, a Navigon sat-nav/economy meter/control screen which you can take out and use, Tom-Tom-like, for on-foot navigation. It will talk to your phone, too.

The Up! will not be coming stateside, but it is nice to know that there are useful, attractive, and cheap cars out there.

For the full review, check out the article here.

  

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